Lefties: The Origins & Consequences of Being Left-Handed by Jack FincherJack the Ripper and the Boston Strangler were left-handed. So were Leonardo da Vinci and Marilyn Monroe. Today every lefty knows that being left-handed is a sign of special genius and a nuisance in a world geared—from handshakes to scissors—to the right-handed. This informative volume examines every aspect of left-handedness, from its causes and historical attitudes toward it, to the latest scientific theories about what it represents.
For on the largest minority groups in the land, Lefties is a lively, comprehensive guide to the facts and new findings, legend, and lore of the so-called sinister people.
Left-Handers Vs Right-Handers: Who's Better?
Five advantages of being left-handed
You probably don't think about left-handed folks until you have to sit next to a lefty at the dinner table and end up getting elbowed in the ribs. Lefties represent only 10 percent of the world's population, yet they've been such a fascination for so long that study after study has been conducted on what makes them so unique. But while we now know that lefties are normal folks, history wasn't always so kind to our left-handed friends. In the Middle Ages, being a leftie was enough to get you accused of being a witch , and in the 18 th and 19 th centuries, left-handed children were forced to use their right hands in schools, which was dreadful - have you ever tried switching hands to write? It's not easy. Those biases persisted well into the 20 th century: In the s, the Soviet bloc even had official policies against lefties. In tribute to our dear lefties and to make up for accusing them of witchcraft, here are some of their most endearing character traits.
Research published recently concluded that left-handed people were overrepresented in a database of 10, boxers and martial arts fighters and had a higher win percentage. Left-handed people may also be better at remembering events, according to research from the University of Toledo, Ohio. The explanation is that the two brain hemispheres of left-handers are more strongly connected. This result also applied to people with left-handed relatives. Handedness is also a factor in mathematical ability. A study of 2, Italian students by three European universities found that for simple arithmetic there was little difference between right- and left-handed performance but for difficult problem-solving left-handers won out.
By Amanda MacMillan, Health. But aside from making it tough to cut a straight line with a pair of scissors designed for righties, being a southpaw can also have some subtle effects on our physical and mental health. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Photos: Famous left-handers.
They’re used to putting up with challenges
In human biology , handedness is a better, faster, or more precise performance or individual preference for use of a hand, known as the dominant hand ; the incapable, less capable or less preferred hand is called the non-dominant hand. There are several theories of how handedness develops in individual humans. Occurrences during prenatal development may be important; researchers studied fetuses in utero and determined that handedness in the womb was a very accurate predictor of handedness after birth. One common theory as to how handedness affects the hemispheres is the brain hemisphere division of labor. Since speaking and handiwork require fine motor skills, its presumption is that it would be more efficient to have one brain hemisphere do both, rather than having it divided up. Since in most people, the left side of the brain controls speaking, right-handedness predominates.
As child educational psychologist, author, and former UCLA associate professor Charlotte Reznick, PhD who is left-handed herself explains, this fragment of the population sees the world through a unique lens. At first writing was difficult for me until a teacher put my pencil in my other hand—and poof! I took off scribbling. That makes left-handers more flexible in the office and fast to react. One way to look at the contrast between lefties and righties, according to psychologist Yvonne Thomas, PhD, is how they approach problem solving. While those on the right might apply logical solutions to an issue, she explains that lefties have the innate ability to come up with several options, as opposed to just one black-and-white route. Reznick has experienced this personally, explaining she often sees or feels the general idea of the task at hand, rather than needing to break down an issue into specific, tangible parts.